Ours has always been a farming family. Now the business is run by Pierangelo and his daughters with their respective families, but the previous generations also earned their living by tilling the fields and raising cattle.
Close connections to the land
The rhythms of work, the hard toil, the disappointments and also the rewards were once constantly linked to Nature and the laws she imposes. Today this bond is not so tight, and the changing sequence of moons and seasons does not inconvenience modern man to any major extent.
But we are still farmers. And we still follow the phases of the moon!
We are always happy to listen to memories of the old farming ways at Botticino, and we are increasingly becoming spokespeople for this vast legacy of Knowledge, attempting to bring the wisdom of the farmers of the past into the world of today, using the technologies progress has provided for us.
“An unusual territory, ideal for vineyards”
This is the home of BOTTICINO DOC, a blend of native Italian grape varieties. We mainly use Barbera and Sangiovese, with a little Marzemino and a little Schiava Gentile. The BOTTICINO land is an amphitheatre of hills arranged in the form of a horseshoe, open towards the south.
It is on these rolling hills, consisting almost entirely of calcium carbonate, that our vineyards stand, about 380 metres above sea level. Between the vineyards lie the quarries which yield the highly prized “Botticino Classico” marble, which makes up a large part of the hills’ structure. World-famous and a favourite choice for the construction of important monuments and for covering floors and walls, Botticino marble is another of our wonderful territory’s products of excellence.
The Victor Emmanuel II Monument in Rome and the more recent Grand Central Station in New York were both entirely finished with the elegant white marble, and so are very dear to all Botticino people.
The elegance of marble in our wine
It is this marly soil that bestows the same ELEGANCE on BOTTICINO wine. Underneath a top layer of about 50 cm of soil, the vineyards stand on the white marble, typical of the area and fundamental for grape production: the soil contains extremely high percentages of limestone, calcium carbonate and other minerals, which combine with the clays present to form the typical marls.
Moreover, the vines absorb the minerals, which help give structure, sapidity and elegance to Noventa wines.
Manual tending of every single bunch
These splendid marble hills do not allow the use of large machinery, which could help man in the hard toil in the vineyard: the slopes are steep, and over the centuries wine-growers have tried to create terraces where possible, to cultivate their vines more effectively.
In spite of these efforts the work cannot be mechanised, so even today most farming practices are carried out by hand by our family, partly because of the need to tend every single bunch and every single vine with the greatest care.
Why go organic?
Organic: an ethical or a logical choice? The answer lies once again in the land: the area within BOTTICINO’s amphitheatre of hills has always enjoyed what is known as a MEDITERRANEAN MICROCLIMATE. In fact, the area’s distinctive semi-enclosed form means that the temperature within is similar to that of southern Italy. The presence of the citrus and olive trees typical of those areas act as further indication of this.
The vines also benefit from this climate, especially during ripening, thanks also to the large variation in temperature during the day. That is fundamental for maintaining the fresh fragrance of the new grapes and the future wine.
A unique microclimate
This distinctive microclimate, combined with the constant, light evening breeze and the steeply sloping hillsides, means that damp air never lingers in the vineyard and ensures that the grapes are kept dry at all times, ruling out the risk of fungal diseases.
With this land so ideally suited for growing grapes, the choice the family made to grow organically was therefore natural: a responsible decision, derived from our love of and respect for these beautiful surroundings.
Gentleness and patience
Two qualities any Botticino wine-grower cannot do without: gentleness and patience. The first, gentleness, is central to Cristian’s work in the cellar, from vinification to ageing: aware of the quality of the harvested grapes, he uses a very gentle production method, with delicate pressing that aims not to modify the balance between the grapes’ components, but simply to aid their natural transformation into wine, taking care not to lose any of the elegance and fineness they derive from the marly terrain.
Noventa has benefited for several years from the invaluable assistance of Carlo Ferrini, an agronomist and oenologist who has fallen in love with the Botticino area and the long history of this wine-making family.
It takes patience and hard work to make it through to spring, when we carefully tend every single bunch of grapes, and on to summer when the fierce heat glitters on the marble of the hills, bringing the grapes to perfect ripeness.
Then comes the harvest, when patience is again necessary: to achieve its excellence, Botticino has to rest and age for at least 24-36 months, as it prepares to thrill its drinkers.